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Grateful Dead Live at Auditorium Theatre on 1977-05-12

Topics Live concert

Bertha, Me & My Uncle, Tennessee Jed, Cassidy, Peggy-O, Jack Straw, They Love Each Other, Minglewood Blues, Mississippi Half Step-> Dancin' In The Streets Samson & Delilah, Brown Eyed Women, Estimated Prophet, Sunrise, Terrapin Station-> Playin' In The Band-> Drums-> Not Fade Away-> Comes A Time-> Playin' In The Band, E: Johnny B. Goode

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Date May 12, 1977
Venue Auditorium Theatre
Location Chicago, IL

Source Audience Recording
Lineage Master Audience Reel > unknown mics/deck> DAT > CDR
Taped by
Transferred by


Master Audience Reel > unknown mics/deck> DAT > CDR; fresh transcription of a previously circulating copy (see notes in txt); Re-Mastering by Scott Clugston; missing Cassidy, splice in NFA; d1 tracked for 80 min


Reviewer: grateful phishmon - - May 18, 2013
Subject: This one's on the box set
presumably with perfect sound. Don't know if I'll shell out for all 5 to get this one, though. And if I had to pick just one, not sure it'd be this, although the Not Fade is wild, wooly, and fun listening even with the pitch weirdness. Donna's even on key. BTW, don't know what's with the haters, I love Sunrise with tears streaming down my face, and this is a well-sung version. Only three stars cause it's a barely listenable AUD.
Reviewer: Mind Wondrin - - August 31, 2012
Subject: Not all May77 is gilded
This came three days after War and five days before Alabama - two of the greatest shows in history. Plus, it's May '77, possibly the greatest single month. So the fact that it's merely a slightly above average show comes off as a shocker. Mississippi, Dancin' & Terrapin through the end of the 2nd set are the bonus disc on Winterland June 1977 but only Mississippi stands out as special for a May '77 from those. Also required listening: Tennessee and a crazy ass Samson.

1st Set:  B-
2nd Set: B-
3 Stars

Both the clugston and the gatto use the same reels but the clugton6484 sounds better to me. Samson starts and somebody says "Alligator!". The Terrapin Station LP hadn't been released yet.
Reviewer: EstimatedProphet082508 - - July 30, 2012
Subject: Cassidy
Nothin' wrong with this recording, it sounds fine to me. Only wish it wasn't missing Cassidy.
No, it's not a perfect soundboard, but it is a very nice AUD. recording that kinda gives you the feel like you are there with the prescence of some (non-overpowering) audiance noise.
What do people want or expect--a perfect recording of every show ? People need to remember this is still 1977, where the recording technology was nothing like it is today.
Reviewer: Dave Davis - - June 8, 2010
Subject: Thank You Again
Thanks for the bonus disk in the Winterland 77 Box. Never listened to this but 1/2 Step->Dancin to open the Second Set is another May 77 jewel, I had never heard before.
Reviewer: Jim F - - June 5, 2010
Subject: Bad Rap
I think this recording gets a bad rap. For me anyway, it isn't nearly as bad as some make it out to be. Maybe I'm just an AUD optimist but I find it listenable (though honestly I've really only listened to the second set jam sequence). It is chock full of high end, which I like, personally. The complaints about the drums are exaggerated, imo, I think they might be a tad low but otherwise have good presence, and all of the other instruments and vocals are very present and up front, it doesn't have that far back in the hall echo that ruins auds for me. I might even go as far to say that you could almost pass this off as a rather degraded/multigen FM broadcast, if not for the chatter.

There is some chatter here and there, but it isn't that much of a distraction, even during Comes a Time. By far the greatest downfall are the speed/pitch issues late in the show. But if you can put up with them, this is a mighty fine performance.

All that said, it's a May 77 show WITH a Comes a Time, I'm willing to put up with a lot for that. Though hopefully someday the full board comes out, as the bonus disc that came with the Winterland 77 box set sounds great.

No stars because I prefer not to use such a subjective rating scale on the overall subjective nature of enjoying and describing both performances and recordings.
Reviewer: whirlwind dreamer 65-95 - - May 12, 2010
Subject: oh yeah! its 77"
phil and jerry are sounding like 2 angels playing for the world great show. no complaints from me!!! enjoying some coffee with a classic like rt
Reviewer: Gary C. - - February 20, 2009
Subject: The Story I'm Told
OK, this is my first "review". I grew up and lived in the Chicago area until 1986. Saw all my early shows at the old Uptown Theatre. In 1984 I met a guy who claimed he helped record many Mid-West shows with a friend of his who owned the taping gear. Between the two of them they would smuggle in the deck, mics, mics stand etc. His name was Dave Bushnell. You out there Dave? Anyway, his friend (Dave never told me his name) who owned the gear got married in the early 80's and left the Dead scene. Before parting ways, he gave Dave all the master cassettes the two of them had recorded together. 5/12/77 was one of the tapes Dave turned me on to. The show posted here sounds exactly like the tape I made from Dave's "master" cassette back in '84. I still have the tape. The thing that convinced me that it was probably a master (along with the other tapes) was that his copy was an old style Maxell tape. It had the old Maxell label glued on the cassette so you had to write your info right on the tape. He also had all the ticket stubs for every show he claimed to record still in the tape case. Sure, he could have copied the shows from someone else back in the 70's, but he seemed to have some pretty detailed memories of his taping exploits. He told me that at the beginning of this show, Candice Brightman (the Deads Lighting Operator) spilled coffee on the soundboard by accident which is why he thought Bertha sounded kinda wonky until they cleaned up the spill. Dave said that, yes, they were having battery problems during the show, but were hoping for the best. My cassette has the missing Cassidy, but if you think the Not Fade has problems, well the Cassidy is far worse. That might be why the Archive guru's left it off the download. But once the song ends, then the tape sounds fine again. Weird... Dave also had "masters" of 10/29/77, 5/17/77, 1/30/78, 1/31/78, 2/3/78, 2/4/78, 7/3/78, 2/4/79 (more pitch problems in set one) and the three 1980 August Uptown shows. He also said that all the shows he helped tape, they always used his friends Sony TC-150 deck with AKG mics. I know Archive list's other tapers for many of these shows, but Dave always seemed to have a sincerity about him. I don't think it's a stretch to believe that more than one deck got into these shows. And all he ever wanted at the time was to just get the shows into circulation, because at that time these shows were still pretty rare. Yes, 5/12 has it's problems, but the playing that night was way above average, even for '77. Hope this sheds some light on this often overlooked Chicago show.
Reviewer: NYLifer - - May 12, 2008
Subject: Not Fade Away to end is flawed
Tape deck batteries must be dying as the source speeds up midway through NFA. Too bad, it wasn't a bad listen.
Reviewer: WolfmansBrother - - February 19, 2008
Subject: dropped way too much acid
well, i've been on this run since the spectrum, which seems eons ago now, and for the first time in 16 shows, i got just a tad too fucked up for tonight's show. the blotter i ate wreaked total havoc with my ears and i felt like i was listening to this with one of those no-scratch cones they put around a dog's neck on MY head.

i have a vague memory of a really strong jack straw and a minglewood and then reality went south for me during the half-step>dancin' sequence which was just waaaay out there. i came to my senses (that being a relative concept) after sunrise, which gave me that same strange "am i at a dead show?" feeling it did in nyc. a rare and different tune indeed as the big jam sequence was just what my sizzled brain required, with a deep and funky playing surrounding the yin/yang of NFA>comes a time. jesus h. cricket but they simply cannot, i say cannot, play better than that.

bring on night two!!
spoiled children complain, undeservedly, about this recording. not the worst of this tour so far, or of the band ever. it's got "It" regardless of some "slight imperfections." i hope all the whiners are serving up juicy fob auds every time they go to a show today, but i suspect not.
Reviewer: spathorton - - May 24, 2007
Subject: I was there
My first GD concert. Didn't have a clue what I was getting into. Had never heard music played like that before. Lots of fun with the ushers.
Reviewer: Ash72 - - December 2, 2006
Subject: It's got Peggy-O!
As a general rule, any show with Peggy-O is gonna be a good one. Enjoy!
Reviewer: JammingGD - - November 27, 2006
Subject: Good SHit
It's the Grateful Dead, theyre always GRATE, i'm not going to bitch and moan about the "pitch" or the sound being not exactly perfect. Its good music, and a good concert.
Reviewer: QHRunner - - November 27, 2006
Subject: You Want Perfection
There's no doubt this is not a perfect AUD, but Estimated Prophet is definitely great. If you want perfection, listen to 5-13-77 from the SBD recording on the streaming portion of this archive. Might be in the top five of all time. Too bad we can't download that show.
Reviewer: smgarcia - - June 14, 2006
Subject: Not a good recording
This is a pretty bad recording, and it's a bad audience at that. First we are missing Cassidy in its entirety, there is a strong hiss that can be heard at low levels, it is difficult to hear the drums, the mixing is all off (aud's don't mix anyway).

I want all of May 1977, but I'm going to remove this one from my iTunes, or just not listen to it altogether. There are thousands of better recordings on here at
Reviewer: capn doubledose - - December 29, 2005
Subject: People What the F*ck? ? This is a '77 audience not a digital master you have to rate this in context and NOT AFTER 1 SONG
There is NOTHING WRONG with this show, in fact this is chock full of unbelievable music and some hilarious snippets like the guy getting booted for smoking dope in the beginning of Estimated (awesome) after he was warned the 1st time. Half Step is insane one of the best of the year as is the Dancin and this is still the 1st set!

Set II is wonderful and a solid '77 addition. Terrapin>Playin is rocking and it's a long set.
Reviewer: hjl1450 - - July 22, 2005
Subject: I think it sounds great!
I love the sound of this show, it's an auditorium and the reverb and quality are probably true to form. NFA really rocks and you can tell people are diggin' it, great vibe!

One of things that I appreciate about these recordings is the variation of sound by venue that reflects authentic moods and experience. If they all sounded like Dick's Picks quality, it wouldn't be the same. May, 1977 gets high rating no matter what!
Reviewer: gonzoc - - June 5, 2005
Subject: Pitch Problems
This should be a very nice sounding audience (maybe a little bit saturated on the highs, but not bad), BUT, the pitch problems will drive you to distraction. Plus, some idiot felt it necessary to jaw through a large chunk of Comes A Time.
Reviewer: flashbackmagic - - September 30, 2004
Subject: hmmm
i popped on the first track, and just had to shut it off. While im SURE there are some great jams within, I think I'll wait unitl a better copy surfaces. It upset me too much to hear that awful recording.
Reviewer: 4x4 - - September 13, 2004
Subject: Agreed!
DTV is right on, It would be great to have a sbd of this show. The playing throughout is right up there with the rest of the month. Jerry's second solo during jack straw is a perfect example of how he could transcemd the rest of the band and take everyone higher with him. Totally awesome.
Reviewer: DTV - - August 1, 2004
Subject: Must have better copy!
Please somebody, anybody provide the archive with a better copy of this show. This could be the best show of the most critically aclaimed year for live dead. Give this poor copy a listen and you'll be licking your chops for better quality. With better sound this is a five star without a doubt.
In Collection
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Live Music Archive
Uploaded by
Jonathan Aizen
on 4/9/2004
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